Kenney, Bob. Albert the Machine. Music by Bryan Williams. Players Press, 1996. ISBN 0-88734-522-0. 23 pp. B 4-9 Reviewed by Harold R. Oaks Albert is a computer, programmed to act like a human but with superior mental powers. He also has feelings and is sensitive to people. His makers first use him to place people in careers, but Albert becomes bored. He tries being a radio, but without success. He becomes a vending machine, but his tendency to tell people what they should eat (rather than what they want-just a snack) puts him out of business. Then he is a money-matic at a bank, but again he tries to tell people what would be best for them rather than just do what they ask, so they take their business elsewhere. Next he is a movie star robot computer, but a box office crash. Finally he predicts events to come with success until he predicts an election that is wrong! He can take everything into account, but the whims of the human being. He has found a job with challenge! This interesting classroom piece could also be performed for audiences in this computer age. It can be performed with a cast of four, or use many more for the myriad rolls required. Technical requirements are minimal.
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